Worldwide is the distribution of bladderwort, the aquatic oubliette, and ingenious is the mechanism: the negative pressure set resets, and with the intake of water comes the intake of victims. It is quick work, one million billionth of a millisecond on a Sunday morning.
The bladderwort is not the work of Achlys, the death-mist that clouds the eyes of the dying, but that of Mnemosyne, she of memory. “It is not an existential end,” thus spake the lowly pipefish of the family Syngnathidae. This last is an iniquitous family, shared by the lowly pipefish and the glorious seahorse. The pipefish – let us be honest, a seahorse sans caparison – has only the truth with which to adorn itself, and thus it is to be trusted.
The bladderwort, the pipefish says, is the ur-all-seeing, which became the Argus Panoptes to Hellas. It is hard to spot for the eyes of the bladderwort lie beneath the surface of its substrate. Traps set in aquaria & visible only when flowering, it is formidable.
The trick it plays, though, the pipefish reminds us, is that of memory. It is in these bladder-traps that the dead drink of the river Lethe to forget their past. It is in these traps that Mnemosyne reenacts her past and forgets she is daughter of Gaea and Uranus. It is in these traps that Mnemosyne copulates with Zeus and gives birth to the Muses. It is in these traps, finally, that Mnemosyne, reenacting, is never allowed to forget.
Written on Wednesday, 5 May 2010